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Readers plz read. Doc- no resp necessary
Feb 20, 2008

Hello all,

Please read this and don't make the mistake I have. 3 weeks ago I was drunk in a strip joint in South Jersey, went to the champagne room and before long was having unprotected vaginal sex with the stripper. Was 10 seconds max before i snapped to it.

She told me she was HIV-neg but how do you trust a stripper that bangs dudes in the back room?

3 weeks later my face and neck are flushed and feel hot most of the time, like when you get angry or hot, a little "hivey". I'm convinced its a rash, friends say its not. Its probably from anxiety. No fever (i take my temp every hour), no other symptoms. I think I have splenic pain but I might just be convincing myself I do. I know symptoms mean nothing but every little twinge / redness makes me nuts.

The reason for this post is to plead to you please not ever put yourself in this hellish situation. I'm convinced I have it and 9 more weeks might as well be a century. I know I am going to break down and start testing like crazy, which will make my anxiety worse. I'm sure I'll get a PCR at 28 days.

I know the stats, I know Dr Bob would say something like "the odds are astronomically in my favor", but I can't internalize it. I was thinking of finding this girl and going to get her tested but it doesn't matter, i'll just convince myself she too is in the window period.

I've quit working out. I can't think of anything else. Sleep is elusive. I have fleeting thoughts of suicide and how I would do it without voiding my life insurance. (don't worry, I won't, I wouldn't) but i am incredulous that i've done this and the thoughts are there at all. i find myself wondering what it will be like to be on HAART.

I spend hours every day scouring this and other websites.

The only bright spot of this is that at my 12 weeker, I am going to quit alcohol. (I can't right now or I would NEVER sleep) I am and have been and alcoholic (1 to 2 bottles wine per night) for years. its the reason i compromised my health, would have never done that sober.

Please be smart. Please be safe. This waiting and thinking and examining myself in the mirror every 10 minutes might be the worst existence imaginable.

Doc, i left a chunky donation on your website. Thanks for the work you do and the kind words in this forum.

Regards, Miserable Dude

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Miserable Dude,

Certainly I'll post your comments in the hopes it will prevent someone else from having a similar lapse in judgment.

I will also reiterate "the odds are astronomically in your favor" just as you predicted, because it remains absolutely true. Your risk is 10 seconds of unprotected insertive penile-vaginal sex with a Badda Bing Betty of unknown HIV status. Since you've obviously been reading this forum long enough to know some of my recurring catch phrases, I'll encourage you to continue perusing the archives. There you will find gazillions of testimonials of guys who have found themselves in situations like yours. The testimonials should provide you with insight and reassurance.

I agree with you that your symptoms are most likely caused by stress and anxiety (and possibly alcohol).

Rather than spend hours every day scouring HIV Web sites and taking your temperature, why not volunteer some of your time at an AIDS hospice or children's cancer center or at any of a thousand other places that need volunteers? Helping others who are struggling with challenges far greater than our own is an excellent way to keep our own problems in their proper perspective.

Thank you for taking the time to write in and share your personal story and newfound insights with the forum readers. That's already a way of "paying it forward" (helping others). Thank you also for your generous donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. (I'll send a personal acknowledgment and thank-you via snail mail soon.) I'm also sending you my very best good-luck/good-health karma that your definitive HIV tests will be negative (I strongly suspect they will be) and that you are successful in giving up alcohol.

I'm here if you need me, OK?

Good luck. Be well! (And that's a doctor's order!)

Dr. Bob



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